re: Are we pretentious and arrogant? VIEW POST

re: I really don't think it has anything to do with gender-related prejudice. I believe that this attitude exists to whatever degree it exists towards ...

This is where we may have to agree to disagree, I think. Certainly I do not intend to tar all people with the same brush; however, I do think there are discrete, nuanced ways in which a gender bias can occur - and in a male dominated industry, that bias can go unchecked for a long time. It can be as simple as comments about "the wife" or it can go as far as a lack of maternal support creating a female workforce defecit of up to 50%. There's a lot of research into this topic.
I'm very glad you can recognise that there's a culture issue within the industry, because frankly some people will not, but I will say that I think it's not quite as black and white as being 100% a gender issue and 100% not one at all.

Sloan, the sloth mascot Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community View code of conduct

I just think there are two different things mixed in one bag that should be treated as separate:

  • Is there a common conception among men in IT that women shouldn't be picked for whatever role because they are less capable? Not in my experience. Of course in general I've met people that would value the worth of others based on their gender, religion, political beliefs, sexual identity, even favourite football club. But they are outliers -and tend to be of limited intelligence.

  • Are there circumstances that can put women to a disadvantage for certain professions or roles? Yes, definitely, but this is where it gets complicated.

Here's some examples based what I've observed (please correct me if your experience is different):

1) In all fields there are roles that involve working ridiculously long/odd hours, travelling all the time, negotiating aggressively with other parties, being 100% focused to the extent that you don't get much free time or personal life. For whatever reason, more men seem to be OK with that than women. I am not one of these men -most men aren't-, but I do see that it is more common to find men that are OK with making these sacrifices (many of which don't even consider them sacrifices -they just enjoy the rush) than women. I don't know why -it could be a biological factor, it could be a personality trait acquired by the different way men and women are raised.

Obviously people who are willing to sacrifice more for a job have (and must have) a competitive advantage, how can we possibly equalise against that factor?

2) I see that women tend to more often be inclined to settle in a job than be career savvy and actively chase opportunities -regardless of the industry. I also like to settle for whatever I have if I find it good enough. But I see that it is much more common among men to constantly be restless, on the look for maximizing the outcome of their situation -seek competitive employment offers, leverage it to ask for pay-rise, push things. Why do you think that happens? Again it could have either biological or acquirable roots -but how could someone trying to equalize the statistical split possibly deal with it?

That's why I don't think seeking a perfect representation of genders everywhere is very realistic.

Though I did like Karen's article you linked. She made some balanced, fair points and I absolutely agree that the challenges of balancing work with maternity (parenthood in general but obviously maternity is the most challenging part) should be supported as much as possible. My mother quit her academic career, taking an early retirement to raise me -and I wish that she didn't have to.

But I don't think it's realistic to expect businesses to carry that cost, the only way it could work is if it was carried by the state.

PS. Sorry, I know you were focusing on how some behaviours common in IT can alienate women -I just don't have much to say about it. I can see what you mean, I never saw it being gender-targeted but I do see that women are more troubled by it than men. It would be good if we all tried to be nice to each other and it would be good if women could have a bit thicker skin.

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